Hear the Tape: Obama Calls Kanye West a "Jackass"
Kanye West told Jay Leno his behavior at the VMAs "was rude, period."
Singer Kanye West takes the microphone from singer Taylor Swift as she accepts the 'Best Female Video' award during the MTV Video Music Awards. (Associated Press / September 13, 2009)
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During a CNBC interview on Monday, President Obama reportedly called Kanye West a "jackass" when asked what he thought about Kanye interrupting Taylor Swift's acceptance speech.
Obama's remark, which was off-the-record, was later tweeted by ABC News reporter Terry Moran.
"Pres. Obama just called Kanye West a 'jackass' for his outburst at VMAs when Taylor Swift won. Now THAT'S presidential," Moran wrote.
The tweet was quickly deleted.
An ABC spokesperson told Politico.com that employees prematurely tweeted that part of the interview before the editorial process was completed.
"That was wrong. We apologize to the White House and CNBC and are taking steps to ensure that it will not happen again," the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, Kanye West has also apologized for grabbing the microphone from Swift during her acceptance speech and then telling the audience that Beyonce had "one of the best videos of all time."
Beyonce, nominated for best female video for "Single Ladies," lost to Swift, the best-selling artist of the year outside of Jackson.
The 19-year-old country music star was giddy when she won for her clip, "You Belong With Me," the first award given out Sunday, and said, "I always wondered what it would be like to maybe win one of these someday, but never actually thought it would happen."
But West ruined her moment when he jumped on stage.
"Taylor, I'm really happy for you, and I'm gonna let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time," he said, as a shocked Beyonce looked on and the crowd began to boo.
Swift later got the chance to finish her speech when Beyonce -- who won video of the year for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" -- called her out and said, "I'd like Taylor to come out and have her moment."
West told Jay Leno that he knew he was wrong the moment he handed the microphone back to Swift.
"It was rude, period," West said. He posted a second apology to Swift on his blog on Monday.
In a standard all-caps message, West said: "I'M SOOOOO SORRY TO TAYLOR SWIFT AND HER FANS AND HER MOM. I SPOKE TO HER MOTHER RIGHT AFTER AND SHE SAID THE SAME THING MY MOTHER WOULD'VE SAID. SHE IS VERY TALENTED!"
West took a long pause when Leno asked what his late mother, Donda West, would have said about the incident. When Leno asked whether his mother would have given him a lecture, the rapper said yes.
"So many celebrities, they never take the time off," he said. "I've never taken the time off to really - you know, just music after music and tour after tour. I'm just ashamed that my hurt caused someone else's hurt. My dream of what awards shows are supposed to be, 'cause, and I don't try to justify it because I was just in the wrong. That's period. But I need to, after this, take some time off and just analyze how I'm going to make it through the rest of this life, how I'm going to improve."
West also said he would like to apologize to Swift in person.
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